Mixing

Because nearly everyone drinks, at least socially, there is a greater danger of mixing alcohol with other substances without meaning to do so. For those who are on prescription medications, it is vital to read the directions that come with your medications. Most medications are dangerous when mixed with alcohol.

Cocaine/Methamphetamine/Amphetamine - Many drinkers take amphetamines to stay alert and drink more and longer than they can otherwise. This is very dangerous, as it increases the amount of alcohol consumed with less sleep and less food in the body of the drinker. While “speed” may create the illusion of being more awake and alert, binge drinking is likely to occur. This is especially hard on the liver, as well as the kidneys, heart and blood pressure.

Heroin/other narcotics - Heroin and alcohol are nervous system depressants. When working in unison, they slow the heart rate down to the point where death can occur due to heart failure. Blood pressure will drop dangerously low. Many people have died as a result of this combination.

Benzodiazepines - Many people are on prescription benzodiazepines, another dangerous combination with alcohol. Because many are designed to relax the user and assist them with sleep, there is a loss of mobility and coordination that occurs with both and is amplified when they are mixed. Muscle coordination loss, dizziness, sleepiness, and loss of other motor function occurs, along with poor mental processing and unreliable decision making. This is a deadly combination, because impaired judgment is common and those who enjoy this combination will not believe they are impaired.

Marijuana - Another nervous system depressant, pot can also increase depressed states and loss of executive function. Cognitive processes are severely dulled and slowed, as are respiratory rate and breathing.

Tobacco - Heavy drinkers frequently smoke more when drinking than at other times. This increases the risk of cancer, especially those found to be related to consumption of BOTH, such as mouth, esophageal, throat (larynx and pharynx), brain, and lung cancers. There is danger for these with alcohol alone and smoking alone. When combined on a regular basis, the risks are greater and very common.

Antidepressants - Because evidence shows that those who are depressed are more likely to develop dependence on alcohol, taking antidepressants while drinking is a bad idea. Depending on the type of antidepressant medication being taken, the effects of alcohol on the medication may be deadly. As alcohol is a depressant, the repercussions can be heart problems, anxiety, blood pressure spikes and drops, sleepiness, and deeper depression.

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Energy Drinks - Among the young, a popular trend is drinking caffeinated energy drinks that contain alcohol. Most of these contain higher levels of alcohol than does beer. This increased energy has been shown to amplify the effects of alcohol and mask the sensation of drunkenness to a dangerous degree. Those who consume these are alert enough to believe they are less affected by the alcohol they are consuming and continue to drink long after they are drunk.

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